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Ameliorative effect of melatonin against gamma-irradiation-induced oxidative stress and tissue injury *

melatonin is a potent scavenger of a variety of free radicals. The aim of this study was to investigate the radioprotective effect of melatonin against oxidative stress and tissue injury induced by gamma radiation. Rats were subjected to two doses of 2 and 4 Gy from cesium-137 source. Four days prior to irradiation, animals received melatonin daily (10 mg/kg body weight i.p.). In the irradiated animals, the oxidative stress markers malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl were significantly increased in the liver, while a marked decrease in hepatic contents of DNA, RNA, and glutathione (GSH) as well as activity of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) was demonstrated. In addition, catalase (CAT) activity was increased in the liver 5 days after irradiation.

The levels of total lipids, cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), urea, and creatinine, as well as activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), were significantly increased in sera of the irradiated rats. This is coupled with decreased serum levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), total protein and albumin, and total globulins by irradiation. The administration of melatonin alone daily for 4 days caused significant decreases in MDA and protein carbonyl content and produced significant elevations of GSH content and GST activity in the liver. Moreover, significant decreases in total lipids, cholesterol, and TG without change in LDL or HDL levels in serum were demonstrated.

Treatment with melatonin for 4 days before acute irradiation significantly abolished radiation-induced elevations in MDA and protein carbonyl levels in the liver and significantly maintained hepatic GSH content, GST, and CAT activities close to the control values. Preirradiation treatment with melatonin showed significantly higher hepatic DNA and RNA contents than irradiated rats. The levels of total lipids, cholesterol, TG, HDL, LDL, total proteins, albumin, total globulins, creatinine, and urea, as well as the activities of AST, ALT, and GGT in serum were significantly ameliorated when melatonin was injected before irradiation. In conclusion, the increase in oxidative stress markers and the concomitant change in antioxidant levels indicate the role of oxidative stress in radiation-induced tissue damage. Moreover, melatonin shows a radioprotective impact against ionizing-radiation-induced oxidative stress and organ injury.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-03-2008
Authors: M.A. El-Missiry, T.A. Fayeda, M.R. El-Sawya and A.A. El-Sayeda
Source: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Volume 66, Issue 2, February 2007, Pages 278-286